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After seeing a film several years ago called 'The Way' starring Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez, (available on Prime Video!) I became very intrigued about the Camino de Santiago or the Way of St. James, a pilgrimage of Medieval Origin, to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in the North West of Spain. Legend has it that the remains of the Apostle Saint James the Great were buried there and discovered by a shepherd in the 9th century. The city is, in fact, named after the apostle: Santiago de Compostela means St James of the Field of Stars. The Camino de Santiago has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage for its important role in encouraging cultural exchanges between people from all over Europe and the world for many centuries. So, what exactly is the Camino de Santiago then? Today, more than a pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago is a unique experience and trip of a lifetime, with its routes attracting thousands of people from all over the world. 

One of my daughters best friends walked the entire 500 mile Camino several years ago, hoping for it to be the life-changing, spiritual experience she needed. And indeed she said it was that and so much more.

I'd love to do something like this, although 500 miles is somewhat intimidating, but I suspect that's part of the journey. To reach beyond your comfort level in a big way. It's an adventure, a chance to meet new people, it's self-discovery and learning new things. I recently came across an article in the United Church's Broadview Magazine about some 'Canadian' caminos and although there are a few that are quite a distance, I am excited to look into them more. If you feel a deeper connection to life, the universe and a higher power when you’re out in nature, you'll love this list of 10 Canadian caminos. Check it out here and who knows, perhaps we can organize a group experience!

In the meantime, we have a wonderful 'camino' right here in our own backyard in the form of the rail trail running from Cambridge to Paris - get out there and enjoy it!

Karen Murray-Hopf

Communications/Media Chair